Body found in woods in Myakka City identified, death ruled a homicide

MYAKKA CITY, Fla. (WFLA) – Manatee County sheriff’s deputies are investigating a suspicious death that occurred Monday afternoon.

The sheriff’s office responded to a report of a dead person in a wooded area not from off the road at 5600 Verna Bethany Road around 4:30 p.m.

Deputies determined the death to be suspicious and notified the Manatee Homicide Investigation Unit.

The victim has been identified as Jose Barajas-Santibanez, 42, of Bradenton.

An autopsy confirmed his manner of death is a homicide.

The cause of death is not yet being released.

Barajas-Santibanez was reported missing by his daughter on Nov. 15. His abandoned vehicle was found in Palmetto the following day.

Anyone with information should contact the MCSO at 941-747-3011 or Crime Stoppers at 866-634-TIPS.

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